New high-tech mobile medical laboratory deployed by U.S. Navy and European consortium uses genetic analysis to enable rapid diagnosis of Ebola

These genetic tests reduce response time from days to hours, reduce the risk of infection in uninfected patients, and improve outcomes for Ebola patients.

As the Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak continues in West African countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, testing at medical institutions is receiving increased attention in these countries, and the development of diagnostic tests that can more quickly and accurately detect Ebola hemorrhagic fever. is urgently needed. Accurate diagnoses can be made without the need for state-of-the-art clinical laboratories, which are rare in these countries. The region’s lack of even limited basic services, such as electricity, has hampered efforts to establish modern diagnostic facilities and clinical laboratories essential for administration and management. Prevent further spread of disease. Another problem is that these countries lack trained pathologists, PhDs, and clinical laboratory scientists to staff such laboratories.

However, one solution to this challenge is for developed countries to provide mobile medical laboratories and hospital facilities. Such resources are provided by the United States, Canada, and some European countries.

U.S. Navy’s high-tech mobile laboratory tests for Ebola-specific RNA

The U.S. Navy currently operates a high-tech diagnostic laboratory near the World Health Organization’s Island Clinic in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. This deadly disease has hit the country of Liberia the hardest. Establishing a diagnostic laboratory there has reduced the time to answer an Ebola diagnosis from two to five days to just three to five hours, according to a report released by the WHO.

At the time of publication, more than 500 blood samples had been processed in the laboratory since it began operations in October last year, half of which had tested positive for Ebola. “The primary goal of our work is to reduce the time between the arrival of a blood sample and the detection of Ebola virus in the sample,” said Ketan Patel, M.D., of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. emphasized. . Dr. Patel noted that rapid diagnosis minimizes the risk of infection for uninfected patients and improves outcomes for infected people.

Dr. Ketan Patel

Ketan Patel, MD, extracts genetic material from blood samples. He is one of his three medical laboratory specialists who run the high-tech medical laboratory at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center in Monrovia, Liberia. By identifying RNA specific to the Ebola virus in samples, the lab’s testing process reduces the time it takes to diagnose Ebola hemorrhagic fever from two to five days to about three hours. (Photo and caption copyright WHO/P. Desloovere)

The safety of laboratory personnel is our top priority

“The first thing we do with the blood sample is inactivate the Ebola virus, making it non-infectious and making testing safer,” said microbiologist Dr. Jose Garcia, a U.S. Navy lieutenant. Specimens are processed in a portable biosafety hood to avoid direct blood contact with researchers.

US Navy Lieutenant Dr. Jose Garcia

U.S. Navy Lt. Dr. Jose Garcia pipets a patient sample into a test plate to test for Ebola in the mobile laboratory at the Naval Medical Research Center on Bushrod Island, Liberia. The center has dispatched two mobile testing labs to Liberia. In each lab he can test up to 80 samples per day. (Photo and caption copyright Jerrold Diederich/US Army)

Because the Ebola virus is made up of RNA, lab technicians extract all the genetic material from the blood sample and look for RNA that is unique to the virus, Patel explained. To confirm the presence of the virus, laboratories use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. This technology can amplify a single strand of RNA into millions of copies to create enough RNA for testing.

These steps are performed in different areas of the laboratory, so samples are moved from one room to another in small dunk tanks containing 10% chlorine bleach to avoid direct contact with researchers. You will be moved safely. Patel said the lab can process up to 16 blood samples at a time in three hours.

Nine mobile medical laboratories are located in Liberia’s parliament, which has the worst Ebola death toll.

As of February 10, 2015, Liberia had recorded 3,858 deaths from Ebola, compared to 3,363 in Sierra Leone and 2,032 in Guinea, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. The number of deaths due to this disease was 3,858.

A total of nine mobile laboratories are currently operating in and around Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. Seven are from the Department of Defense (DoD), one from the CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH), and one from the European Union. Department of Defense news coverage.

Ebola testing laboratory in Zwedor closes

In February, the 1st Regional Medical Laboratory (AML), part of the Maryland-based 20th CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives) Command, Research institutes have begun to close. Four Ebola testing laboratories based in Liberia are scheduled to close.

Captain Sean Palmer

Capt. Sean Palmer, a Loma, Colo., native and biochemist with the First Regional Medical Laboratory based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, uses biosafety level 3 gloves at the First AML Ebola Testing Laboratory. Destroyed the box. Zwedol, Liberia. (Photo and caption copyright Joint Forces Command—United Assistance Public Affairs)

Since arriving in mid-October 2014, the first AML “soldier-scientists,” as they are known, have processed more than 4,500 blood samples to look for Ebola. That mission is nearing its end. No Ebola cases have been detected for over 90 days.

“Here at the Zwedl Institute, we have not received a single positive Ebola sample, which is great for the people of this region,” said Capt. Sean Palmer, a biochemist at the Zwedl Institute. clarksville online This article was written by Staff Sgt. Terrence D. Rose of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Regarding the development of a rapid test for Ebola, just a few weeks ago, on February 26, the World Health Organization announced the approval of a test for Ebola. He is manufactured by Corgenix Medical Corporation (OTCQB: CONX.OB) in Denver, Colorado. In a statement regarding the approval, WHO said the Corgenix ReEBOV antigen rapid test kit uses a finger prick sample and provides an answer within 15 minutes.

The test costs about $15 and is reported to be able to identify 92% of infected people and 85% of uninfected people. This is intended to be used as a screening test, and confirmation using more specific diagnostic methods is recommended.

These developments demonstrate how events like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa are playing a role in promoting the globalization of laboratory medicine. One element of this globalization is the strengthening of ties between pathologists and laboratory technicians in developed countries and pathologists and laboratory technicians in developing countries. Another factor is the stimulus to accelerate the development of faster, more accurate, and cheaper medical tests for use in these countries.

—Written by Patricia Kirk

Related information:

USAID administrator praises Department of Defense efforts in fight against Ebola

Liberia: New Ebola mobile laboratory speeds diagnosis and improves care

Canada sends third lab to help fight Ebola

Laboratory Support Mission: Fighting Ebola in Guinea

Pentagon opens second mobile laboratory in fight against Ebola

Navy Scientist Serves as Front-Line Ebola Fighter in Liberia

Dispatch of the First Regional Medical Research Institute to combat Ebola hemorrhagic fever

U.S. soldiers and scientists begin shutting down Ebola testing facility in Liberia

Corgenix receives FDA clearance and WHO registration for emergency use of Ebola rapid diagnostic test

Rapid Ebola test now available

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